I wrote to you some time ago that you should print your Best of Baltimore issue in magazine form. Well, I was in a restaurant last night and I saw a copy of City Paper's dining guide (EAT, March 6). That's exactly what I'm talking about. I travel around country and I love when I can find articles that show me where the best places are to go out to eat. What you put together is fantastic and I hope that the Best of Baltimore issue is in the same format as the guide. Bravo!
Legalize It Del. Curt Anderson deserves a lot of credit for crafting legislation that would decriminalize marijuana consumption in Maryland ("'Joint' session of legislature ponders legalization," The Nose, March 20). The tyrannical "War on Drugs" amounts to a war on an individual's right to their own body and has had serious-and completely predictable-results. Governor O'Malley's acceptance of medicinal use of marijuana also merits praise. Despite the paternalistic positions of many politicians-who are devoid of any understanding of individual rights-Del. Anderson's effort deserves broad bipartisan support from legislators who have any semblance of respect for individual rights.
Amesh A. Adalja
Up with Schools We're glad to see City Paper thinking about how to make the proposed plan to renovate and rebuild Baltimore City's public schools a success ("Money Pit," Feature, March 13).
The Baltimore Education Coalition (BEC) and others are working tirelessly to get the state funding law right. The announcement early this week of a revised plan to secure the first $1 billion in funding shows that our city and state leaders are serious about addressing this massive need. This revised plan sidesteps many of the concerns raised in your article.
Still, your article contained inaccuracies and mischaracterizations, particularly the comparison to Greenville, S.C. For instance, it implies that Greenville's financing plan led them into speculative bond deals. In fact, Greenville's bond rating went up when the construction plan went into effect.
The need, as you point out, is "undeniable." Yet in the two years that the BEC has worked on this campaign, we've heard time and again that we should wait-until things are more certain, until we've decided how to fund the whole plan, and so on. When it comes to our children, our schools, we can't afford to wait. Waiting means higher costs to fix an outdated-schools problem that is not going away.
The BEC pledges to be there every step of the way to make sure that our officials do right by Maryland taxpayers and Baltimore City's students, educators, and neighbors. We want the same transparency and effectiveness your article held out as the ideal, and we want the work to begin in the next school year.
Yasmene Mumby and Jimmy Stuart
Co-chairs, Baltimore Education Coalition